On Friday morning we headed out of Shelter Cove and passed the navigational markers at about 2 am in light fog. The time to depart was primarily based on trying to get the calmest weather conditions and also what the conditions would be at the entrance to Humboldt Bay harbor, called the Eureka Bar. There are tidal flows in and out, and at times they clash and make entry or exit challenging. We were aiming for the high tide, around 1 pm.
The conditions on the ocean were calm, as predicted. We decided that we would both stay up for a while and watch the conditions together, since the conditions around Punta Gorda are unpredictable. I am glad to report that the entire trip went smoothly, the waves were small and winds light. We each took a 2 hour rest before we neared Eureka. Somewhere along the way we passed the halfway point for our trip in miles. A milestone to celebrate!
We haven’t seen any dolphins in quite a while. We saw some whales in the distance at Shelter Cove, apparently it was a pod of Orca that frequent that area. The only wildlife sighting I can report from this trip is that the Murres (sea birds) have babies – I saw several mothers (fathers?) and babies about.
Entering the Eureka bar was fairly calm; there were some waves that developed at the entrance and pushed us along. The trip from the harbor entrance to the marina is about 5 miles, and we passed the lumber and paper mills on the way.
We tied up at the marina after calling in to secure a spot and checked in at the office. The next order of business, after our celebratory beer of course, was a hot shower! What a joy that was. We had a nice dinner at the restaurant here in the marina – we were both starving and it was nice for a change.
We’ve been to Eureka twice, which is across a bridge from where we are (Woodley Island). The first day we walked to the marine store, a natural food co-op and the Lost Coast Brewery. We shared several things, including a sampling of all of their beers on tap. We had fun – and a 5 mile walk! Yesterday we rode our bikes over and went to the marine store again and then to Target to stock up on some things. We were able to buy a plastic box to secure to the back of my bike to be able to carry more stuff when grocery shopping.
The commercial fishing season for Salmon opened again today, so for several days there has been a lot of activity at this marina. It’s interesting – some of the boats here are only crewed by a couple; the one docked next to us is a father and daughter. It looks like a tough way to make a living, but these are obviously tough people.
We plan to head out of here early tomorrow morning when the tide is high (around 3 am). We are going to Crescent City, our last stop in California. It will be a 12-14 hour trip, depending on the weather (predicted to be mild!). We’ll see.